Jodi Rave: Denise Juneau takes top education post
"Denise Juneau raised her right hand and was sworn in as the state's top K-12 educator on Monday, a coup that earned her traditional honor songs, trade blankets, two eagle feathers and praise from all corners of the state.

Juneau, who is both Blackfeet and Mandan-Hidatsa, is the first Native woman to win a statewide election in Montana. After her swearing-in ceremony in the Capitol rotunda, she thanked people during a standing-room-only reception at her new work area at the Office of Public Instruction.

“I'm ready to take the reins,” said Juneau, Montana's new state superintendent of education, who handily won voter approval in the November general election. “I stand ready to work for you as we move Montana public education forward.”

Inaugural activities on Monday proved to be a day that sparked hope and pride among those who believe hard work, intelligence and voter participation can lead to equality among the state's elected leaders.

When Gov. Brian Schweitzer joined Juneau at her reception, Mike Jetty, a curricula director for OPI, was reminded of the governor's “new day” mantra for Montana.

“It's a new day for OPI and Indian education,” said Jetty, who's been an educator for the last 17 years. “Ten years ago when I came to OPI, Denise was the lone Indian education specialist. So, all this Indian ed work rested upon her shoulders. Ten years later, there's a whole division. But, we have a long ways to go.”"

Get the Story:
‘New day' for Natives, education: Juneau takes helm as superintendent of public education (The Missoulian 1/6)

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